Fits Like a Glove: Baseball squad evaluates team efficiency for playoffs

Sam Boyd, Sports Editor

“A Band of Brothers.”

In order to describe this year’s varsity baseball team, head coach Stephen Stone referred to the team’s new motto. Currently with a 17-12 record, the team ranks fourth in district 5-5A behind teams such as Flower Mound, Marcus and Coppell. The team will continue district play against Lewisville on the 25th followed by Marcus on the 26th.

After finishing with a record of 10-15 last season, the boys are looking to redeem themselves, Coach Stone said. However, he said it is not correct to liken this season’s team to last year’s.

“Every year is different, so I wouldn’t compare teams,” Coach Stone said. “At some points you play either high or low. We’ve done well because we’re not great at one part, but good at everything.”

The team is led by returning seniors Jimmy Gallarda and Michael Delavar and junior Travis Stone. Gallarda and Delavar both had doubles in a win against Irving. Travis hit a home run against Denton Ryan.

“I would say that as a team, we stay motivated because we believe that we are as good as any other team in our district,” Gallarda said. “But we know that in order to beat these teams we must put in the work during every week at practice and we must come out of each practice knowing that we worked that much harder than every other team in our district every day.”

These players also run the pitching lineup with the addition of junior Drew Roth. While the two starters, Travis and Delavar, work hard to pitch long stretches, they are backed by long reliever Roth and closer Gallarda.

“We don’t have dominating stuff, but we know how to pitch,” Coach Stone said. “That’s what’s going to lead us to win: being smarter than the hitter.”

At the plate, the team has been strong thanks to home runs from the likes of Travis and Gallarda. In addition, players like seniors Blake West, Michael Kister and Todd Wurzbach have gotten several extra-base hits this season.

“We don’t have only two good hitters,” Coach Stone said. “Our entire team is full of good hitters when we need them. If only one or two guys are hitting well [that day], we will be in trouble.”

According to Coach Stone, another strong characteristic of the team’s game is their defense.

“We are the strongest in the field,” Coach Stone said. “Our hitting and pitching are good, but we are dominant in the field.”

On the subject of new starters, centerfielder Kister leads the team with doubles against Coppell and Marcus to name a few.

“Our new guys have proven themselves in practices and tournaments,” Coach Stone said. “They are where they are for a reason: because they are good enough to be on the team.”

One potential problem for the team is competing in a district full of good baseball teams, according to Coach Stone. Flower Mound currently has a record of 20-3, while Coppell has a record of 16-3-1.

“We live in a good baseball area, a strong district,” Coach Stone said. “We always play very well within our district so we don’t have any worries. We have to play for ourselves. In this game, if you want to win you must focus on yourself.”

Coach Stone and the rest of the team are looking forward to a possible playoff spot, where they would once again have to face strong teams within the district. But Coach Stone said that based off their experience and ability to keep up with those teams, the school has a good chance.

“If we practice harder and continue to work, we will improve and become a better team,” Coach Stone said. “These are good kids. They are quality. They enjoy the game, they work hard and they are just overall good players.”